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Software The Internet

New VOIP App. Profiled 199

sniggly writes "Cnet has an interview with Kazaa co-founder Janus Friis about their latest product Skype. Skype is a p2p VOIP technology that quote '... is addressing all the problems of legacy VoIP solutions: bad sound quality, difficult to set up and configure, and the need for expensive, centralized infrastructure.' Windows only beta client available."
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New VOIP App. Profiled

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  • by Snoopy77 ( 229731 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @07:56PM (#6959862) Homepage
    Skype sounds so much like hype.
    • by flafish ( 305068 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @07:58PM (#6959876)
      "Making modifications to the Materials or creating derivative works based on the Materials is prohibited, as is using the Materials on any networked computer environment or other website."

      Huh? Then how the heck can you use it?
      • by RetroGeek ( 206522 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @09:07PM (#6960348) Homepage
        Huh? Then how the heck can you use it?

        It is obvious. You unplug the computer from the network and talk to yourself.

        Thousands of dollars of technology so you can talk to yourself. This is progress!

      • Making modifications to the Materials or creating derivative works based on the Materials is prohibited, as is using the Materials on any networked computer environment or other website."

        This EULA should be copied and kept as a proof of that nobody ever reads the EULAs, or takes them seriously..

        • This EULA should be copied and kept as a proof of that nobody ever reads the EULAs, or takes them seriously..

          And my previous post should also be saved a s a proof of that nobody ever reads the text in question... The text in the original post does not appear in the EULA (or has been removed).

          Mea culpa,

    • by Anonymous Coward
      No Holds Barred Radio [] has been using this to replace toll-free call-ins lately. It sounds way better than telephone quality, and it's a lot cheaper than paying for each 1-8xx call.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 14, 2003 @07:57PM (#6959870)
    Pop-up ads and spyware! Now when you mention the right world, it'll be replaced with an ad. "I'm going to go drink a soda" becomes "I'm going to go drink a refreshing ice-cold Coca-Cola."
  • What about spyware? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dzym ( 544085 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @07:58PM (#6959873) Homepage Journal
    I'd only use it if I could be reasonably certain that it wouldn't be some spyware-riddled infested crapware like Kazaa itself.

    Which, since it's from the same guys as Kazaa, I would certainly expect it to be.

    Color me uninterested until accounts of user experiences pop up all over the internet with an overwhelmingly positive response.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Now it's "Value-Added User-Profiling Ware"
    • by Snoopy77 ( 229731 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:06PM (#6959941) Homepage
      It does claim to be ad-free. Is this synonomous with no spyware? Who knows?
    • Does Skype contain any advertising or Spyware?

      (from the Skype FAQ)

      I dont know whether to trust this, but they do assert that there's no spyware or adware involved.

    • by Dark Nexus ( 172808 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:24PM (#6960071)
      IIRC, it was after they'd sold Kazaa that spyware started showing up in it, or at least after they started having legal problems.
    • So long as it is non-free you'll never know the complete story on what it's doing on your computer. For all we really know, it could have spyware that goes undetected by the masses for a long time. Proprietary encryption is inhererently untrustworthy. Yet again, on practical grounds and on freedom grounds you want Free Software.

      But I would not be surprised to learn that reporters are uninterested in talking about free replacements for this. They appear to be uninterested in talking about the groundbre

      • by orthogonal ( 588627 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:50PM (#6960247) Journal
        . So, if there is a free VoIP app out there (perhaps one with strong encryption too),

        SpeakFreely [] is free (GPL'd) and works reasonably well even on dial-up, and offers encryption.

        (Though when I last used it a couple of years ago, the encryption was difficult to set up, as it used an external and seperately installed PGP.)

        Why didn't I use it more than just for testing? Most of the people I'd call don't use VOIP. It's the early adoption problem: "Nobody" else uses VOIP, so it's less than useful to use it.

    • Give it a couple of months until Ad-Aware is updated and then install and scan.
    • Not yet.. that's why it's still beta,, they still have to add the spyware,, er *cough* features, before it's finished...

    • Golden Eggs! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sniggly ( 216454 )
      They might have the goose with the golden eggs here. Their whole revenue model naturally depends on viral marketing of a free product that has basic functionality.

      Once critical mass in telecoms has been achieved companies might start setting up gateways for this; they wouldnt want everyone be able to call just everyone within their company. Also they'll want conference and call forwarding. The whole shebang. Theyd pay good money for that if it means no more long distance charges.

      If this does happen to s

  • Google Censorship (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Aliencow ( 653119 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @07:59PM (#6959881) Homepage Journal
    I wonder how long til there's a Skype Lite out there..and how long before Google removes links to it. Grr.
  • by rushfan ( 209449 ) * on Sunday September 14, 2003 @07:59PM (#6959882) Homepage Journal
    The next wave of bell propaganda will be "If it's not copper, it causes terrorism".

    Sounds like a good idea, after all Apple's trying to make video chat easy to use for the mases... Maybe Kazaa should also implement the same specs that Apple is with their iChat.

  • teamspeak (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:00PM (#6959890)
    use teamspeak: []

    has excellent sound quality, is free, has windows and linux clients and servers...
    • Re:teamspeak (Score:2, Informative)

      by brain159 ( 113897 )
      "has ... clients and servers".

      Exactly. Skype doesn't bother you with that level of detail. You run it and get a typical IM-system sort of interface, you sign up and get a username. Both parties in a call can be behind a NATing firewall/router and still connect and talk, without having to know about port forwarding. That this is achieved by another (non-NATed) user's machine acting as a bridge for you is not something you need to understand in order to use the system.

      But, Skype's not about to make any effo
      • Re:teamspeak (Score:3, Insightful)

        by shokk ( 187512 )
        Chances are that behind most firewalls you are not going to encounter NAT'd and non-NAT'd systems that are going to mix. Sure as hell I'm not loading this crap on the non-NAT'd systems on a DMZ. Non-NAT'd systems anywhere else is just poor planning. So all those network will be islands where this stuff is unusable. Don't expect home users to figure out that they need a non-NAT system in order to get this to work; they think NAT is something you use bugspray on.

        In fact, going with servers is exactly wha
        • Re:teamspeak (Score:3, Interesting)

          by kbonin ( 58917 )
          1) The automatic selection of a non NAT proxy to relay packets between NAT parties can eliminate the NAT direct connection issue completely. This could be part of the service agreement, such as "supernodes" in the Kazaa architecture being elected from service users with large pipes.

          2) Many network programmers have been playing with a clever exploit based on sequence number prediction to route back into a NAT obscured host, and this exploit works through a surprisingly percentage of deployed NAT boxes.
  • No Spyware (Score:4, Informative)

    by elid ( 672471 ) <> on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:01PM (#6959906)
    From the FAQ:

    Does Skype contain any advertising or Spyware?

    Link []

  • by Basehart ( 633304 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:03PM (#6959915)
    If Kazaa is running this will my conversations be tapped into and downloaded to thousands of PC's in dorms across the nation?
    • From the Skype FAQ: Security: Skype encrypts all calls and instant messages end-to-end for unrivaled privacy. Encryption was necessary since all calls are routed through the public Internet. Sounds good to me.
  • by malus ( 6786 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:04PM (#6959925) Journal
    the telecom industry still hasn't figured out that VOIP is going to take more and more $$$ away.

    I wonder just when their lobbyists will get the US congress to outlaw or at least hamper the use of inter/intrastate VOIP?

  • by eddy ( 18759 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:05PM (#6959938) Homepage Journal

    I'd like one with vorbis and/or speex <ducks>

    • by momerath2003 ( 606823 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:37PM (#6960161) Journal
      From the FAQ:
      Superior Sound Quality
      Current Voice over IP and chat applications just don't measure up. Skype has created proprietary software and partnered with the best acoustic scientists in the business to deliver sound quality superior to even your fixed telephone line!

      Can I use other clients, e.g. Windows Messenger to connect to the Skype network?
      No you can't. We have crafted Skype with a proprietary technology that is not compliant with other clients at this time.

      Can I connect to a SIP server with Skype? No you can't. We have crafted Skype with a proprietary technology that is not compatible with SIP. SIP was simply not good enough for us.

      Which protocols does Skype use?
      Skype uses a proprietary protocol which we have developed. We looked at many available protocols when designing Skype and none were good enough for us. We hope you agree!

      Is the source code for Skype available? Can I have a copy?
      No. Skype is proprietary software.

      Hmm, does the word proprietary mean anything to you? ;-D
  • by TransistorTv ( 617505 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:06PM (#6959945)
    According to their FAQ there is no spyware. However it suggests that there is an Skype to fixed landline phone / mobile phone feature on the horizon. So they're marketing plan is probably, create a viral product, get everyone to use it, add a valuable service ( make a cheap call to your friends mobile on the other side of the globe ). So I don't think they need the spyware this time, and the apps quality is quite good also, although I would like to see conference calls implemented. Just hope we'll get a linux client soon.
    • According to the ToS and such, this is the free trial period and they reserve the right to limit new premium stuff (hitting POTS from the system, etc.) to paying members.

      The current download does not contain any noticable crapware (i.e. nothing new in my task list, no silly behaviours - if someone with ad-aware wants to do a full scan to verify, go right ahead).

      Now, I just need some people to talk to over it. Don't think I'm desperate enough to post my username here though!
  • Migration (Score:5, Insightful)

    by trolman ( 648780 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:06PM (#6959948) Journal
    This is the Free version of Voice over IP that will get the masses involved. The upgrade path is Vonage [] and company. This is a great thing. Thank you Kazaa Skype.

    The 911 argument is and will come every time that VoIP is mentioned mostly due to the huge effort that went into building the system by alot of players. Getting the physical addresses changed and databased was big and kudos to those involved. This 911 effort is now built out and everyone is mapped so now all voice services can take advantage. Do not forget that every cell phone and telephone in the USA is required by federal law to be usable to call 911 out of the box and that no service activation or account holder is required.

    Disclaimer: I use Vonage, turned off Bell South, and am a Geek.

  • Hmm alternatives (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Daath ( 225404 ) <lp AT coder DOT dk> on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:11PM (#6959978) Homepage Journal
    There are several similar applications out there, the oldest I can remember off-hand is Speak Freely [] which does secure p2p.

    Right now we use Ventrilo [] internally at work - it's not secure, but we can do conferencing in super quality with VERY low bandwidth! It's excellent!
    • Re:Hmm alternatives (Score:3, Informative)

      by Wakkow ( 52585 ) *
      Of the ones I've tried, I think the easiest to setup and use, along with a large selection of codecs, is TeamSpeak []. Yes, it sounds like it's designed for gaming, but I could see using this for many other applications.
    • Re:Hmm alternatives (Score:3, Informative)

      by nadaou ( 535365 )
      Note is no longer the Speakfreely homepage. That site contains an old version and is morphed into a commercial non-free software sales site (with no obvious link to the new site -- argh).

      Visit [] for the real webpage.

      although in several months this will transfer to: u/
      and w/

      for the UNIX and Windows versions respectively.

      The latest version is 7.6a.

      "Speak Freely is
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I've read all of the (completely non-technical documentation) and they don't actually say HOW the damn thing works.

    ANY P2P application generally requires at least one open port (typically 6346 or similar) so that other people can initiate a peer connection to you. If someone's behind a firewall - and you have the above port open - a "push" request can be sent in which they initiate the connection to you, then you send them back the data after they've opened the connection.

    It's not possible - at least with
    • Without even downloading it, I'm guessing thats the p2p part. 2 users behind firewalls will get routed through an open host that both can make connections to?
      • Agreed. They probably establish some sort of grid routing, such that machines that do have ports open will accept the connections from those that don't and somehow forward packets. I'm quite pessimistic about that though, since transmit capability is always small compared to the download channel of most home broadband connections. And unlike Kazaa where throughput is the only thing that matters, here latency is a very big concern, and throughput not so much. I'd think that one of the biggest challenges
    • Just guessing here (well, I did sniff some packets with Ethereal) but I think that the negotiation is done using an open (3rd party) host -- so the call setup is not necessarily P2P. But, the RTP packets flowing between me and my callee were definitely end-to-end, P2P.

      This is probably counting on the fact that most home firewalls use fully conic NATting.

      I'm also guessing that the signaling and media are using the same port, unlike most (all?) other VoIP protocols. This saves the desginers from having to
  • Very Misleading (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:12PM (#6959992)
    I went to the Skype page. It says you can "Make free phone calls - all over the world!".

    So I gleefully download the client and setup an account.

    Wrong. No capability to actually call anyone's telephone.
    • Re:Very Misleading (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Catharz ( 223736 )
      The ability to dial a "real" telephone is exactly what I'm waiting for.

      I want a VOIP solution for home. Not so I can call internationally, but for local conference calls that don't tie up every phone line I have. Unfortunately, most of the people I "conference" with aren't on broadband, so for this to work it needs to be able to dial multiple phone lines through a VOIP server.

      I'm sure we have the technology to do it.
      • Re:Very Misleading (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Would that not be Vonage []?

        If you're not worried about being able to call regular numbers, use a pure VOIP solution like the one in the article above. Vonage is a VOIP product that can call out to (and receive calls from) the regular phone system.
      • The ability to dial a "real" telephone is exactly what I'm waiting for.

        I think a P2P system would be ideal for this. I see the technology working by having a directory of "servers" that have broadband connections and voice-capable modems. People could call into these by phone and then the broadband connection would link them to a server which is within local calling distance of party you're calling. That distant server then makes a POTS call to the receiving party and the connection is established.

  • by Tarq666 ( 545095 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:14PM (#6960005)
    I've been using Skype for a couple of weeks now, and so far it is as good as they say it is. The sound quality is unbelievable compared to the other IM apps I've used. It really is almost as good as a phone. The only weird thing is it seems to take over your mic, mine is set to mute and it is muted most of the time. While using Skype however it comes back online and is usable despite still being reported as muted in the sound setup options. If nothing else, it is worth looking into if you like VoIP, if not, it also has a typing chat window as well.

    I've found that after the initial interest passes however, few people really want to use it to talk, but it is a nice replacement for MS Messenger (actually I use Trillian, but that might be kicked from the MS Messenger servers soon).

    The only problem(?) I've found so far is that initially a bunch of total strangers felt the need to talk to me, but I found the privacy options and set the app to only accept calls from people in my list, after that it was much quieter.

    • if it is kicked from MS serves shouldn't you consider using ICQ instead or some other IM? Why support them if they force you to use their client?
      • hmmm...knee jerk reaction here??? They don't force me to use anything...I made a choice. I like what they offer and I choose to use it. No offence, but just because it is proprietary software, it doesn't mean I'm lock into it or anything.

        I've used ICQ for a long time (6 digit UIN) as well as Yahoo! and MS Messenger. I'd love to stick with ICQ only but my friends all migrated away. I run Trillian so I can keep everyone on one list, and installed Skype when 4 of those people also installed it. I will

    • Not to worry! (Score:3, Informative)

      by djkitsch ( 576853 )
      Actually, the latest version of Trillian Pro supports the new MSN Messenger protocols and they're updating the free version very soon, too.

      Woo! Hooray for Trillian!
    • Great, so they say they worked with a bunch of audio codec engineers for great sound - how much bandwidth does it use? Can you run it on modems, or do you need 128kbps upstream, or faster? If you're a P2P supernode of some sort, do you need at least 384kbps upstream bandwidth? How does it prioritize voice traffic vs. other data traffic that's less latency sensitive?

      Is it a standard codec family or not? The standard telephony codecs start with 8000 samples/second and 8 bits/sample (companded from a ~1

  • Proprietary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:19PM (#6960035)
    Odd pairing of questions and answers in the FAQ:
    Can I use other clients, e.g. Windows Messenger to connect to the Skype network?
    No you can't. We have crafted Skype with a proprietary technology that is not compliant with other clients at this time.
    Can I use Skype to send instant messages to my friends who use AOL/ICQ?
    No. AIM and ICQ uses proprietary closed protocols and make no efforts to be compatible with other IM systems. You should get your AOL/ICQ friends to use Skype instead :-)
    Did the same person write these two answers? Our proprietary protocols are good, theirs are bad. It boggles the mind....
  • I'll use it as soon as someone produces Skype Lite without spyware, and either makes it run under Wine or develops a Linux client (my Linux box is on 24/7, and my Windows box is only on when I want to play games).
  • Issues like 911 and power cuts are fairly trivial and are mainly being used as an argument against VoIP from the entrenched players.
    while emergency calls are fairly rare, one still wants to have the ability to make them in the event of an emergency. getting rid of that capability would be a really dumb idea.
    • While I'll agree that the entrenched players are using 911 and service during power outages as tactics, it's still true that the landline and cellular telephone networks are designed to be immensely reliable, while the TCP/IP networks are designed to "usually work". This is one of the reasons that VOIP is so much cheaper; they don't have to make sure that every single component in the system is battery powered, for example, so that it can operate independently of the primary power grid. The telco's are requ
  • is addressing all the problems of legacy VoIP solutions: bad sound quality, difficult to set up and configure, and the need for expensive, centralized infrastructure.'...

    Windows only beta client available."

  • by momerath2003 ( 606823 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:24PM (#6960076) Journal
    Yes, I have karma to burn. :-) VOIP!! [] Arrowed!
  • by General_Corto ( 152906 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:24PM (#6960077)
    Quotes relating to the two questions here are from the Skype help FAQ [].

    Q1. key exchange?

    What type of encryption is used?

    Skype uses AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), which is also used by U.S. Government organizations to protect sensitive, information. Skype uses 256-bit encryption, which has a total of 1.1 x 1077 possible keys, in order to actively encrypt the data in each Skype call or instant message.

    And the key exchange is handled by... ? AES is a symmetric cypher, so there has to be some kind of key exchange. I'd like to know what that mechanism is, or if there's just one key and they can listen in on anything. After all, who'd need spy-ware if the whole thing was insecure by design? Oh, and if they've reinvented a bunch of cryptologic libraries, look out - there will most likely be fresh exploits to be had.

    Q2. Why the lock-in?

    Which protocols does Skype use?

    Skype uses a proprietary protocol which we have developed. We looked at many available protocols when designing Skype and none were good enough for us. We hope you agree!

    Okay, so they're trying to make a buck or two here eventually, but touting a proprietary protocol as being a good thing is usually not a good sign. People buy Microsoft Office though, so I guess it's not that big a deal for the average person.

    Suggestion. Would someone (or some group) restart development on Speak Freely?

    Okay, so this is a bit of a sidetrack, but it's a valid point. There is a large body of tested code available for doing most of this kind of thing, and it's called Speak Freely []. However, on the downside, John Walker (Mr. AutoCad to you) has decided to cease development, as of August 1 2003 (yes, that's in the past). All the code is at SourceForge, (both Unix [] and Windows []) so you can go wild with it.

    Something to think about.
    • by billstewart ( 78916 ) on Monday September 15, 2003 @02:33AM (#6961776) Journal
      Speak Freely is a nice system, but it doesn't really address the problem of global directories and location. It looks like Skype might or might not be able to do this, but you can't really tell because it's proprietary and undocumented, at least until somebody reverse engineers it.

      NAT and Firewalls are the two fundamental problems in making things like this work - they both interfere with SIP and Speak Freely and other peer-to-peer applications in ways that are fundamentally hard to solve, and since the Skype protocols are undocumented, I'm skeptical about how useful they are at home and more skeptical about how useful they are at work, and I don't know how to set up my firewalls to let their connections through.

      As you say Key Exchange? - it's nice to know they're doing 256-bit AES, but how are they setting the keys? Microsoft's original PPTP had about seven things wrong with it, several of which were key-exchange related, rendering it totally insecure, as did 802.11's WEP. Diffie-Hellman with no authentication? D-H with some kind of SSH-like authentication persistence (User "Bob" has a different key than last time - are you sure?) Kerberos-like secret key server? How does it prevent man-in-the-middle attacks? Strong encryption doesn't help you if the keys are known.

  • RIAA: "They must be hiding more songs in those VoIP packets. We must intercept and sue! Quick! To the batcave!"

    But seriously, I remember using MS netmeeting several years ago when my fiancee was stuck at UC Davis. Even with the crummy sound quality, it was still nice not having to pay the 5 cents per minute that the long distance carriers charged. It is great to see that there is still ongoing interest and work with further development into VoIP. (Guess that is why ATT has the flatrate for their long dis
  • No free VOIP-POTS? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Guspaz ( 556486 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:29PM (#6960105)
    Skype doesn't appear to have free VoIP->POTS (The ability to call regular phones from the VoIP product), so I fail to see how it's different from any of these other VoIP-only products. There's hundreds of them already...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...bad sound quality, difficult to set up and configure, and the need for expensive, centralized infrastructure.' Windows only beta client available.
  • Forget the popups (Score:4, Interesting)

    by vile7707 ( 470358 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:34PM (#6960147)
    With this we are likely to see a new telemarketting trend if it takes off. Think about it, there's a no call list, but there's certainly no such regulations regarding this technology yet.
  • Not bad.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by James_G ( 71902 ) <> on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:40PM (#6960183)
    I just downloaded and set it up, and had a quick chat with a friend down in California. The quality is very nice and it's super easy to get working. Especially nice is the fact that, although we're both behind NAT connections, we were able to get connected with no problems at all - no configuration was necessary.

    Personally, I'd be prepared to pay a fairly reasonable amount for a tool like this, if they decided to go down that route. I live in the US but my family is all back in the UK. I currently spend in the order of about $50/mo on international calls (and that's with a low rate international plan) so something like this could save a lot of money if it was priced reasonably. I've emailed my folks back in the UK to have them download it as well so I can test the latency and see how well it works.

    The basically zero effort setup is what really makes this rule though. No worries about forwarding ports, etc. It Just Works[TM]. This may well turn out to be the killer VoIP app. Time will tell!
  • Having been born with the renegade gene myself, it's just hard to hate a company that admits one of it's main goals is to create "a major disruptive impact."
  • So lets see the loop counts, I/O blocking times, pipeline flushes and page fault results then...

    'reviewed' would be a better word.
  • I've Used it (Score:2, Interesting)

    by devious507 ( 192750 ) *
    I've been using this app for about 2 days now, and initial thoughts... this thing kicks some major ass. I've played with the MSN voice thing, and the yahoo one, and the quality of this is astounding.

    I spent like 3 hours chatting with a friend in England yesterday. Other than a couple of program crashes (and it is beta software remember) we were able to talk as easily as being on a telephone.

    This is astounding to me considering she's on a crappy dialup connection.

    I'd be intersted to hear how dialup-dia
  • by jeffpulver ( 315066 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @09:59PM (#6960624) Homepage
    An interesting editorial [] regarding this CNET story run yesterday on [].

    Being one of the people singled out in the story the good news is that since the story ran, I spoke with Janus and Free World Dialup [] will be working with the Skype team in interconnecting our respective networks.

    What concerns me more than this story is that last Friday it was first reported that Wisconsin
    joined [] the growing list of US States that is taking action against VoIP.
  • VOIP gateways? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JVert ( 578547 ) <corganbilly@hotmail . c om> on Sunday September 14, 2003 @10:13PM (#6960694) Journal
    VOIP will always be just a toy without having a seamless way to answer and make regular telephone calls.

    I've been looking around for some open source gateways for voice modem to h323. Is there really nothing like this out there and were stuck with this?

    Alot of cell providers are doing $30 /mo for unlimited internet, anyone tried to do VOIP with a smartphone?
  • Once I got the program to actually run, it worked pretty well.. i have dsl so i can't really speak for modem people, but this doesn't really use that much bandwidth and manages to sound a lot better than other programs that do the same thing.
  • Is it impossible for the open source community to develop a new app and protocol for IM. IM is the biggest thing to not happen on the internet fro users. (Micropayments interest providers, not users.)

    Give me one single robust protocol and the apps to run on it can be many and slendid. Just make sure it has everything useful from all the other IM apps out there. Even if the execution quality is poor, lay out the groundwork.

    a) decentralized
    b) secure
    c) video and audio
    d) messaging
    e) file transfer
    f) file browsing
    g) open protocol
    h) whiteboard
    i) multiple logins j) basic multiuser functionality(a la IRC)

    I am certain I am missing something. But I really didn't expect things to take this long... I know hypertext took a long time to turn into the www, but that was a bit more pioneering. This is largely a technical issue, since every feature above is offered by On of the big IM's, Skype or Waste.

    Obviously, the Major businesses are not intersested in developing an interoperable standard. However, it is the technophiles and pedestrian Internet Users who would benefit from this. So it should be seen to by us to create one protocol to implement such an awesome app. And even if you couldn't call POTS from it, it would catch on. Hell, if it was open, the major IM providers would probably build gateways to access it or eventually leave their existing systems to jion it, increasing it's already immense value.

    At least then I wouldn't need to have Trillian, ChatZilla, IIP, Waste and Shareaza all at once (and Y! Messenger, MSN Messenger, AIM and ICQ installed) just to share a few annecdotes and family photos with friends!

    Please, coder people! Help us out!

    • The OSS community already has developed an IM protocol that is decentralised, secure, open, free, does messaging and file transfer, etc. etc., known as Jabber [].

      Check it out. Sure, it doesn't yet have audio/video support as part of the main standard, but it's based on XML so anyone can extend it with their own "many and splendid" apps, and uses transporst to connect to other messaging systems like ICQ or IRC. I recommend Exodus [] as a good basic Windows client, the Jabber website lists many more.

      As we've seen
      • How does Jabber solve the NAT problem?

        If there wasn't the NAT problem with broadband routers, H.323 would be used by a lot of people (through NetMeeting/OpenH323/etc.)

        Yahoo IM is the only "free beer" videoconferencing IM solution that doesn't have a NAT/firewall problem.
  • Strange behavior (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mikiN ( 75494 )
    If Skype doesn't contain spyware, then what business does a P2P voice chat program have with my temporary Internet files?
    7:06:45 Skype.exe:1036 FASTIO_QUERY_STANDARD_INFO C:\Documents and Settings\Miki\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat SUCCESS Length: 5210112
    (repeats once every 10 seconds)
  • A niche play, IMO (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rei_toi ( 663252 )
    I believe that there are three barriers to adoption with this service. 1. You need to have a headset & microphone. 2. Your computer must be running. 3. The person you want to call must also be on-line.

    Granted there are still situations where this may work well for some; calling someone who is already on-line, a co-worker perhaps, or quickly calling someone overseas and asking them to get on-line.

    When they have the ability to connect you to a "regular" telephone there will be charges -- some loc

  • Here in Japan, Yahoo Japan offers broadband with VOIP. The way it works is they give you a DSL modem and in the back of the modem is an RJ-11 connector. You just plug your phone in and use it like a regular phone. Done!

    Of course I guess the issue is that they are charging you for the service were as most VOIP could be free. Their push is that they are cheaper than the local telephone company. First, there is no such thing as local unlimited dialing in Japan so even to call the next door neighbor cost
  • please post again, when it will work on my PCs and on the PCs of people who like software quality as well as freedom.

    I thought that all problems were adressed including :-)
    "addressing all the problems of legacy VoIP solutions: bad sound quality, difficult to set up and configure, and the need for expensive, centralized infrastructure.' Windows only beta client available."

    BTW, how much are the sponsored links on slashdot?
  • ... as Kazaa is considered illegal by the RIAA, Kazaa makers are now building a high quality VOIP application. It can send voices and other sounds in a high quality, 128Mbit stream to your audio equipm^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H telephone. Call your favorite artist now!
  • Skype is a p2p VOIP technology ... addressing all the problems of legacy VoIP solutions...Windows only beta client available."

    well, then by definition, they are not addressing all of the problems of legacy VoIP - and no, i'm not going to go look and see if there's a Linux or Mac OS X version planned..

Loan-department manager: "There isn't any fine print. At these interest rates, we don't need it."